Have you ever been mad crazy woken up when you weren’t expecting it by someone pounding on your door? Cause…I just was. My wife and I were enjoying the last throngs of the early morning before really getting up when a very forceful knocking began at our backdoor. Needless to say it was quite startling, so me in my old managerial mode (I used to manage an apartment complex for about 2 years) jumped out of bed and in a scene reminiscent of “the night before Christmas” got my clothes on in a flash and ran to the back door. And what should my wondering eyes perceive? but my neighbor there telling me that a tow truck was outside about to tow my car…
Here’s a little context for you. We live on a busy one way street that heads right into the heart of downtown. And we’re very modern here in Denver, promoting biking and public transportation. As such, there’s a lane of traffic which, at any other time of day, is parking. But in the hours of 7 to 9 am is a bus lane only…and thus, a tow away zone. I had parked last night with the intention of moving it into our parking spot when my wife had moved her car, but….I’m a space cadet and really didn’t at all think about it. So, much to my surprise and alarm, at 7:05 am this morning, the rat-a-tating on the back door to alert me that a tow truck was right in front of my car, ready to do it’s thing. So I ran out–barefoot, no glasses on, to move it. Proceeded to wave on the tow truck man, got in my car, and parked in our spot, and thanked our neighbor for being awesome. (I need to get him a six pack of his favorite beer or something.)
So, I went back to bed and lay there, thinking about what just happened. And I came to this: does God use others to teach us to trust Him? I generalize. Does God use others to teach me to trust Him? Further food for thought, does God sometimes come a rat-a-tating on our back door (or the bathroom window…) and we don’t know it’s Him?
Here’s the thing: I recently came to the conclusion that I don’t know if I fully trust God. I mean, the closest i can come to is that I know and trust that He loves me-unabashedly, regardless of whatever, but I don’t know if I can bring myself in prayer or what have you to just cry out “I love you!” to Him. It’s a bit like Peter said when the other disciples abandoned Jesus after the later said “you have to eat and drink me.” His response to Jesus’ question of further abandonment was “where else are we gonna go?” Now i don’t feel as if that’s only where I’m at, but I don’t feel much above or beyond. I want to, I’ve prayed to–that I want to trust, but what else do you do? can you do? I mean really, have you ever tried just trusting someone? let alone God? and sure, sure, it’s easy to say “well, christian, the bible says Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith, and faith is a deep trust, so you don’t have to worry about it…” but that doesn’t really help anyone really wrestling with an issue as big as God. (just tell Jacob…it’s not like he had a little Mickey Goldmill in his corner telling him that “this is a fight you can’t win, Rock!”)
Anyway so I’m as excited as the next guy–be that who it may, to see God work. I think i’ve always been. But by intention or fluke, I’m the type that doesn’t/hasn’t really relied too heavily on others (trust issues, eh? eh?). So to me, seeing God work is something loud and proud. Something that really displays his awesomeness like a rock star or a matador…a rockstador…but underneath it all, something that will prove to me that it’s Him doing it. Or maybe I want to see that it’s God so I can go on not trusting people. Or…more to the point, I can say that it’s people that let me down…not God. Cause no no, He would never do something like let us down. He works for the God of those who love Him and I….well…
And, and, I’m uber excited to see community, a Kingdom that is now, that we can take part in and be a part of. But…that means I gotta trust people, or rather, maybe trust God through people, with all my baggage and crap and stuff that I’ve got to deal with and have dealt with for so long that I feel like Rodrigo Mendoza from the film “the Mission.” It’s been on me for so long, how can I trust anyone else with it? even if it is God through them?
So I’ve prayed, “God. I want to learn to trust you. But…I know I can’t really have any say in that, it’s gotta be you. Also, I wanna see you work through
other people (cause my wife and her family has shown me that you can do that, and my life has shown me that you don’t really), because I wanna see your hand through everything. Your work in all, in me, to me.”
But maybe, just maybe, God is just the same as He always has been, and always will be (that in itself seems a very human way to put it because it’s very linear and spatial and I think God is outside all that, and then reaches in to all that). That maybe the whisper that talked to Elijah is the same that wants to come out of people loving people. Maybe I want to look for God in the earthquake, the fire, the storm, but He’s in the whisper. What if He’s in a neighbor helping out a neighbor and the humanity of the rat-a-tat-tating on the backdoor is so loud that we (I) can miss the still whisper of God working through that, of God’s love being in that? Of Him doing exactly what I prayed for, but in and on His terms, not mine?
It seems to me, in the course of writing this, that while I have the choice all along whether to see Him or not, the heart of the issue remains the same. He’s not a God who shows up like I would show up. Who proves Himself like I would prove myself. Who gets you to trust Him like I would get you to trust me. And maybe at the end of the day, that’s okay. That He’s got this. He’s taking care of this trust thing. And the hardest lesson that I have to learn, I’ve learned already- (rf. back three paragraphs to this line:) “the closest I can come to is that I know and trust that He loves me-unabashedly, regardless of whatever.” I may not trust Him just yet,but I trust His love. I trust that He loves me unabashedly, regardless of whatever.
The rest is just plot details in an overall grander story.